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October 31, 2008



When CEO Jere Stocks announced in spring ‘07 that Washington Adventist Hospital would relocate six miles north from its current location in Tacoma Park, a large portion of the community backed the decision. We figured Jere must either be the sweetest talker since Howard Hill (he is from Indiana, so it’s possible) or there was more to the story. Turns out, there’s a lot more, including a proposed health and wellness center to replace the hospital. We recently visited to hear the details.


Pending a few more approvals, construction on the new hospital off Plum Orchard Road could begin in 2010 (and hopefully wrap in 2013). It’ll boost Washington Adventist from 14 acres to 50 and from 70K SF of medical office space to 260K. For visual learners: The photo behind Jerry is the hospital in 1907 (called the Sanitarium). Over the years, the building has expanded but not the property. As an urban setting emerged, it’s been difficult to meet patient demand. To earn community support for the move, Jere tells us he met with everyone from politicians to locals on the street and held community meetings for any audience, even if two people showed up.


The new hospital will be on the other side of the Beltway, but well within the hospital’s service area, and more accessible from major highways. Jere says they’re going to turn the current campus into a cutting edge health and wellness facility, with a possible ER, aquatic center, dialysis, education center (for nurses and other medical professionals), and more. The desire to make it a community gathering place has also led to preliminary talks about adding a restaurant. Pending approval from Montgomery County, the aquatic center could be completed by the end of 2011. Work on the rest of the campus would begin after the hospital relocates.


Jere’s either calling for a linebacker blitz or improved triage. We’re guessing the latter because that’s exactly what Adventist has done. By emphasizing triage in the ER, it’s improved throughput and cut wait times so significantly that they are converting a large amount of the waiting room into more treatment space. Jere says they’re also addressing the problem of patients seeking primary care in the ER by working with, and referring patients to, community health centers like CASA and Mary’s Center.


Jere’s been at the helm since February ’05, arriving just in time to navigate the entire relocation of the 285-bed hospital. A true Midwest man, he came from Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha following stops in Georgia and Texas. And while CEO may be a tough balancing act, he tells us it doesn’t compare to his oldest daughter (out of three children) who spends 30 hours a week practicing gymnastics. Jere must’ve picked up a thing or two because he proceeded to perform a perfect back handspring . . . but our camera had run out of batteries.

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